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1. To learn anything, you cannot be afraid to ask questions.

This fear no doubt harkens back to grade school, when other kids would poke fun at the kid who asked for clarification on something. Unfortunately, most people don’t grow out of it, fearing others will think them simple. The reality is, while everyone is an expert at something, no one can be an expert in everything. If you don’t ask, you won’t learn. Ask questions until you are satisfied you understand the answer. This may be the only opportunity you have to learn. Don’t miss out on the experience.

2. Ask God what you should be when you grow up.

When I was a child, I remember asking my mother, “What do you think I should be when I grow up?” She said, “That is not something I can tell you. Ask God. He made you, gave you the parents and talents he did, for a reason. Ask and keep asking Him.” That made sense to me. He would know what I was good at and what I liked. It seemed the most efficient way to find out.

Life certainly has its ups and downs for everyone. But thus far I have seen more, done more and met more interesting people than I could have hoped or dreamed. It has been an adventure. I don’t know what the future holds, but God does. Here is the best part: He is waiting to lead you down your own right path. All you have to do is ask and keep asking.

3. Persistence wins out over ignorance.

My philosopher grandmother taught me this life tip. I have always found great comfort in this. Not everything you want to do or learn will innately come easily to you. Too many give up too easily. You don’t have to be “gifted” or the smartest, but if you keep at it, you will get there. In time, you will find you have surpassed even the “gifted” ones.

4. You make your luck.

This is another of Grandma’s tips. No one is lucky; success always takes hard work and persistence.

5. Count your blessings.

Not only should you thank God for them, but your life should demonstrate a heart of thanksgiving. In your interactions, your co-workers should know you respect and admire them. Tell them when they have done a good job. Let your family and friends feel your love and appreciation. Be their biggest fan. Take the time to pick wildflowers and go to baseball games. The little things are really the biggest.

If humanity truly understood these principles, the world would be a happier, more fulfilling place for those in it.

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Dr. Debra A. Smith brings to the national healthcare debate a unique global healthcare perspective based on her multifaceted experiences. A physician and economist, she has worked in clinical medicine, medical administration and insurance underwriting, and as a consultant in healthcare financing and public health for the World Bank and United Nations.

This has given her a global view on what works and what doesn't which she shares in her new book, Healthcare Solved - Real Answers, No Politics. The book is a timely dose of straight talk for an American public seeking to reform a system reeling from out-of-control costs. In Healthcare Solved, Dr. Smith tells how the country can get more people covered and provide better quality care without going bankrupt, and the role each of us can play to help that happen. To learn, visit

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